Among the conspicuous absences from Newcastle United’s 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday was DeAndre Yedlin. The Seattle native had started five straight Premier League games and had seemingly claimed the top spot on the depth chart after a rocky start to the season. That he wasn’t even on the bench was odd, to say the least.
Following the match, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce explained why.
“There’s an issue with his visa,” Bruce told the media. “I’m not sure quite how quickly it will be resolved, but there’s certainly an issue there. We’ll let you know when he’s available.”
While Bruce didn’t elaborate, reports later surfaced that the explanation is potentially embarrassing for Newcastle. Essentially, Newcastle appears to have waited too long to renew Yedlin’s work permit and it lapsed as a result.
Understand DeAndre Yedlin’s recent work permit hasn’t arrived and his previous one has expired. That’s why the American wasn’t involved tonight. Steve Bruce confirmed the player had a visa issue after tonight’s match #NUFC— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 24, 2021
How big of a deal this is likely depends on when Yedlin’s renewal was filed. As long as Newcastle submitted the request prior to this one running out, Yedlin will be allowed to stay until it’s resolved. If, however, the paperwork was filed after the visa expired, Yedlin will likely need to leave the country and could face a lengthy process to get it renewed.
Even in a best-case scenario, though, Yedlin will likely miss at least another game or two and probably can’t train in the meantime. That’s hardly ideal, not just because he had only recently regained his starting spot but because he’s also trying to set up his next move.
All of this comes just a few days after Yedlin went public with his frustrations with Newcastle management over his uncertain future. Yedlin is now less than six months away from his contract expiring and Newcastle has not told him whether or not they have any interest in bringing him back.
If Yedlin was frustrated before, he must be apoplectic now.